Post Number: 51
|Posted on Monday, 12 February, 2007 - 23:09: |
Good day all
If a Silver Cloud III is described as having a “bit of piston slap” only when cold on start-up, and that it “has been like that for six years”, is it something I should worry about when looking to buy the vehicle?
Post Number: 347
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 00:51: |
I would definitely worry about it KC.
Piston slap is caused by the incorrect fit between the piston and the cylinder bore. It quietens down when the engine heats up because the piston has expanded sufficiently to fill the gap, but before that happens, the piston is sloshing around the bore causing more and more wear. It’s quite possible that this slap has been around for six years, as at first, the wear rate is relatively slow; but eventually (and after six years), it will probably increase at an exponential rate and then there is a real possibility of the engine suffering catastrophic failure.
No doubt the car in question is already burning excessive oil as it will bypass the piston rings when cold. Check for sooty deposits in the tailpipe to confirm this.
Either way, the engine is on its way out and is due for a rebuild.
Put on your roller skates and run a mile.
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 01:29: |
I would worry about it and make sure you take account of it in the price!
It is impossible for anyone to say what that particular enigine is like or how long it will last without hearing it - and even than it will be almost impossible.
To put it in perspective - I have clients that have had a little piston slap fot 20 yerars without causing any major problems. It probably depends on how and how far it's driven.
It's a worry ( or refreshing ) that thay have declared it to you, I can only assume that it is fairly bad or they are extremly honest!
Personally I'm not sure that "Check for sooty deposits in the tailpipe to confirm this. " is such a good test on a R-R or Bentley unless it's used on motorways constantly. Well over here in cold - traffic clogged UK , anyway!
Check out the rest of the car and go from there!
Good luck, Paul.
Post Number: 1155
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 04:27: |
Sorry to sound negative, but the V8 Crewe motors are unusually devoid of piston slap when in good shape. If there is audible piston slap then the motor is in need of major work. True, the early Mulsanne Turbos with high mileage (they have the earliest steel-braced Hepworth pistons and extra running clearance) do show slight piston slap symptoms, but only on slight load for some 20 seconds when cold, but nothing off load. Even then, there is nothing audible, rather a slight lack of smoothness until it all settles down. An SCIII should have none I believe. The piston design is such that, in good condition, genuine piston slap is almost impossible even with many hundreds of thousands of miles of wear.
Is it possible that the sellers are confusing hydraulic tappet noise with pistons slap ? Noisy tappets are common for up to a few minutes on a good medium-mileage cold V8 motor, but are completely cured by a tappet clean-out, or by changing to 0W40 or 5W50 synthetic oil. Noisy tappets when cold are embarrassing, but are in reality no cause for concern so long as the noise goes away.
Would SCII and SCIII owners care to comment, as I am basing the above on our '72 T and '87 Turbo R, along with a number of other SY and SZ cars I know well ?
Yet to post message
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 04:39: |
I tend to go along with Richard's diagnosis as I have not heard 'piston slap' in a Silver Cloud or 'S' Series V8. The hydraulic pumps though are a very common noise on start up but usually quieten down before the oil pressure gets up to the mark, if they don't then there is the possibility of a large bill in the future as most other internal parts will have worn commensurately.
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 06:37: |
The brake pumps are on Shadow and 'T' types and later engines, of course, not Clouds and 'S' types which my earlier post may have implied.
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 08:49: |
It sounds to me like one of those subjective aspects that can only be assessed by someone who has had a lot of experience with the engine. Such a person may dismiss it as nothing to worry about, or may know that it is imminenty terminal...
Not much help, I know, but it would be a pity if a major expensive overhaul was done only to find that the noise was still there afterwards.
Sometimes the simplest non-events can display as a bad noise, and a serious problem may only give a small hint to someone who is very perceptive.
On the information available I'm inclined to think tappets too, but no doubt someone very experienced would diagnose the problem very quickly. And I mean perhaps a club member or other arm's length person, absolutely not a mechanic. That's not a slur on mechanics, how many modern ones have long experience with the Rolls-Royce V8?
Fortunately I have a lot of experience with other engines and can usually easily diagnose problems. And I have no faith in modern mechanics after one told me my Rover V8, - also an old design, - needed a new timing case seal, when in fact the source of the oil was a seeping rubber hose connection, fixed in seconds with a screwdriver...
If the engine starts easily, runs smoothly and quietly, blows a little smoke only at start up, and does not leak oil excessively, I doubt if there is much wrong with it. Any engine that has been overheated or is worn will not pass that test.
Post Number: 52
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 - 15:51: |
Thank you very much for all the responses. I have decided not to pursue this vehicle. There are too many unknowns. I firmly believe in buying the absolute best one can afford, and this car is not that.
Post Number: 863
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 February, 2007 - 10:34: |
For what it is worth I have mixed feelings about all these observations. KC is not by any means alone in wanting a Rolls-Royce that is as near to perfect as possible. But a 40 year old car???? Let's be realistic, after 40 years if the thing had sat in a climate controlled museum it would need extensive work to get it to a usable condition. When alternatively it has been in the hands of disparate owners with all the expected shortcomings in maintenance, the chances of finding one in excellent order are growing fewer every day. They are around - at a price and if money is not a problem go for it. Meanwhile the 'average' car gets patched up, used and finally ends up in the back of a shed to rot where similar vintage cars would be trucked to the tip.
All Rolls-Royce Clubs seem intent on flaunting what they have, arranging a non-stop calendar of functions for people, who apart from the cars have absolutely nothing in common and even the common factor of the car seems to have depreciated to what is the best polish and whether the woodwork can be improved! The poor 40 year old Cloud with possible piston slap is discarded, it seems, without a thought as to what will happen to that car. Because, as I have said ad nauseum there are no more. When the wrecker crunches it, it is history.
'So' you say ' You expect me to buy every wreck I find and go broke repairing them?' Well it would be nice but not very practical, after all where would you put them? Can I draw an analogy with the stray dog syndrome. Dog lovers the world over have at some time gone to extraordinary lengths to save dogs, feed them and find them a home. Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars in my adled mind are little different. If you find one of these cars, hopefully, if you are a true enthusiast, you will approach it positively and within the limits of your resources try to recover it. Find someone who may take the car on, help with problems, gather around and encourage people to take an interest and do something to save that chassis!
Some few years ago a very unpretentious, unremarkable middle aged man and his wife found a local Silver Shadow - abandoned. They bought it. Would I have a look? To my lasting shame my immediate advice was disposal. The litany of tasks required to recover that car frightened even me! My advice was ignored - quietly. The next news was of the car bodily stripped and with the aid of friends repaired and painted. I am recovering the hydraulics which everyone seems to have the vapours over and in time that car will drive out of the garage, whole, safe, usable and much loved. I am crazy enough to believe that that sort of spirit, co-operation and mutual self help is what the founding members of the movement sought.
But if I can be really vexatious, you will tell me that we need people like that in the Club. I agree but what do we do about encouraging them? Our books are full of 'ex-members'. Unfortunately the common sense procedure of 'exit interviews' seems to have seldom been followed. I however have talked to many of these people and almost invariably been told that having bought 'the car' they had the greatest difficulty in obtaining information about it, and since so many members seem incapable of going out of the way to ensure that new members feel welcome, the new member attends 'a meeting' which more often or not is totally devoted to social and financial administration, and he really can't see much profit in pursuing his hobby.
The reader can draw his own conclusions. The conduct and administration of the Clubs is a matter for the members. What does concern me is finding and recovering those 'stray' cars where ever they may be and hopefully saving them from extinction.
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 February, 2007 - 12:53: |
I agree with you Bill,we all know that not every car or stray dog can be saved but that is no reason not to try.
I bought a somewhat unloved shadow and by nomeans a rich in money man i have been able to get it back on the road,still more to do as there always is with them i keep plugging along.
It will never win any prizes but at least it is being looked after.
When i look at a car to purchase i always look at not only what it is now but what it could be in the future.
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 February, 2007 - 20:37: |
You have attracted a range of comments, Some leaving me scratching my head, some making me smile!
With the one sentence question you have given, nobody could say buy or walk. If you definitely do not want the car, perhaps you could post the details on here and somebody else might be interested.
At the end of the day almost every car is worth taking a look at.
I've had cars described as, and looking like, the crown Jewels which, even with the best will (or deepest pockets) in the world, I wouldn't advise anybody to buy.
I've seen cars described as 'possibly savable' which turned out, on viewing, to be beautiful old girls that just needed some light cosmetics.
I've seen low mileage cars with main dealer history stretching from day one worth half what they were hoping to get , and cars with unsubstantiated mileages and no history worth four times what they were asking!
I always tell people that if they want a car to drive and keep then go and look at the car - drive it and get a feeling about it. Do not dismiss it because it's dirty, or shabby, or most importantly historyless.
If it feels good to you then get an inspection by a Rolls-Royce and Bentley experienced Mechanic. Preferably somebody that will be maintaining it for you. Somebody you know or has been recommended as someone you can trust.
Sellers often have no idea about the faults on their cars and you can negotiate with a sensible inspection report in your hands. They almost always cover far more than the cost of the inspection.
I would not dismiss a V8 with a little engine noise if the price and the rest of the car makes it worthwhile. I would negotiate with a figure of (say) 3 to 5 thousand GB£ in mind for an engine rebuild then if it does need doing you will be fine, if it doesn't - spend it on other areas of the car. There will always be something!
Good luck with your search!
Post Number: 53
|Posted on Thursday, 15 February, 2007 - 16:16: |
Yes what you say is true, and I also agree with Bill’s post. I wish I had both the time and the money to provide a home to cars in need.
The car in question is for sale in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I live. It presents very well as both the paintwork and leather has been redone. However, I am concerned about the engine, and have also discovered some body putty (some panels, especially wheel arches, are 3cm’s thick in places)
If I buy a Cloud I would have to sell my Shadow, which is in exceptional condition (concours winner two years running). It is also my everyday car. I am interested in trading it for a Cloud as I just love the design of the Cloud. However, I do not want to go backwards by buying a car that is in much poorer condition than my current car. I may not use the Cloud every day, but it would still have to be good enough for frequent use. This is why the engine of this car on offer worries me.
As for everyday use of a 30-year old Shadow, you may be interested to hear that in the last 18 months the car has spent just three days in the workshop having a hydraulic leak repaired. I service it on weekends. It has proven to be reliable and inexpensive to maintain. What do the experienced people here think of using a Cloud as an everyday car? (I do not believe in ornaments that are kept in garages. I also have a Mk VI which I use every weekend)
Post Number: 55
|Posted on Thursday, 05 April, 2007 - 15:22: |
Well, the dealer allowed me to take the car home for an evening on an extended test drive. My first impression was how nimble the car feels, in spite of its size. I expected it to be clumsy and cumbersome, but that it is not. I found it to be as manoeuvrable as my Shadow, and a pleasure to drive in traffic. Even in a shopping centre car park it did not seem as large as I had expected (that may be because I am used to my Shadow, which is not a small car)
In spite of the engine noise when cold, it pulls like a train, and cruises at 90 mph without any fuss at all, and still plenty left in reserve. The gearbox is smooth except for the change from 2nd to 3rd, which produces a clunk and a notable shake. It seems to change smoother under hard acceleration. The down change is smoother, but the clunk is still there.
Any comments on any of the above?
The first owner was William Drysdale of the Tay Wool Works. I cannot find any information on either him or the Tay Wool Works.